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South Dakota Association of Rural Water Systems


The South Dakota Association of Rural Water Systems (SDARWS) is seeking its next Executive Director - a leader with high integrity, transparent and open communications, and the ability to enthusiastically convey the organization's vision to staff, members, constituents and vendors.


SDARWS exists to promote the growth and development of rural water throughout South Dakota, and to manage the association's daily operations. The Executive Director will participate in legislative and rule-making activities at the state and federal levels, will oversee public relations, association development, member services, and will provide direct supervision and support of association staff. The Executive Director will report directly to the Board of Directors of the South Dakota Association of Rural Water Systems and NRWA.

Responsibilities include:


  • Serve as chief lobbyist and public relations contact; act in the interest of and at the direction of the Board
  • Maintain awareness of activities on state and federal levels that affect Association business
  • Attend water policy board meetings, DENR, BWM, Summer Study Committees, other water association meetings, and special water meetings as they develop
  • Identify, assess and inform the Board about internal and external issues that affect the Association
  • Continually build, activate, engage, refresh and communicate with the Board of Directors, including acting as a professional advisor to the Board on all aspects of the Association’s activities
  • Continually build, activate engage and effectively communicate with the Association members
  • Oversee the effectiveness and evaluation of the Association’s mission-related activities
  • Plan, coordinate, and perform lobbying activities at the federal, state, and local levels as needed
  • Oversee the production of the SERVICE LINE, RIPPLES, QUALITY ON TAP, and ENEWS
  • Write articles, prepare speeches, and make presentations at state and federal levels


  • Develop federal, state and local funding mechanisms for construction and expansion of SDARWS
  • Search for and develop new funding sources for the Association; work to expand existing sources
  • Oversee and coordinate all programs so they meet specific goals and objectives of the Association
  • Coordinate the development of the Association to meet the expanding needs of its members
  • Identify potential Association members, and promote Association membership

Member and Staff Development

  • Promote the use of Association resources by its members
  • Manage the technical assistance and training activities of the organization
  • Review and evaluate the assistance and training offered by the Association
  • Promote the development of new programs to meet expanding needs and requests
  • Work in coordination with Rural Water Systems to develop group insurance policies to meet system needs
  • Evaluate the services, and the quality of service, which Association members receive

Operations Management

  • Manage all office operations; coordinate the activities of the office, technical, and supervisory staff to ensure implementation and completion of Association activities directed by the Board
  • Along with the Board, maintain financial transparency and stability of the Association and exercise strong stewardship of resources: ensure that bookkeeping and accounting standards are met by the Association; administer funds according to the approved budget and monitor case flow on a monthly basis
  • Create an effective, enjoyable, and results-oriented working environment for employees
  • Hire, train, and supervise a competent staff. Provide reviews, feedback, and coaching as needed
  • Execute appropriate leases, contracts and agreements to provide for Association office space, and for the proper care, cleaning, and repair of office and field equipment
  • Conduct staff meetings as necessary; establish scheduled reporting procedures for all staff
  • Document activities and report to SDARWS Board of Directors as required
  • Provide SDARWS and NRWA with a budget, work plan and an annual Operating Plan

Compensation and Benefits:

Salary Range: $90,000 to $115,000 depending on experience.

The SDARWS offers an excellent benefits package. Benefits include health care, HSA, defined pension plan, short and long-term disability, life insurance, as well as paid vacations, holidays and sick time.


Qualifications and Requirements include:

  • Education: Bachelor’s Degree
  • Management Experience: 5 or more years preferred
  • Leadership Skills: must include transparency and high integrity
  • Financial: solid, hands-on, budget management skills, including preparation, analysis, decision-making and reporting
  • Funding: Knowledge of funding strategies and member relations
  • Organizational: strong abilities including planning, delegating, program development and task facilitation
  • Vision: able to convey the vision of SDARWS’s strategic future to staff, board, constituents/members and vendors.
  • Board: skills to collaborate with and motivate board members and legislative contacts
  • Communications: strong written and verbal communication skills; strong listening skills also required
  • Staff Development and Oversight: demonstrated ability to oversee and collaborate with staff
  • Public Speaking: strong public speaking ability required
  • Self-Starter
  • Strong relationship management skills
  • Technology: must be proficient with normal industry and office software and equipment

To apply:









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